Many times throughout my journey to become a mother, I’ve heard it all. From “It’s God’s will.” to “Just calm down!” Although without ill intent, people will try to tell you that one of the reasons you’re having a difficult time conceiving is that you’re stressed, and you need to relax more. Yes, unsuccessful attempts to get pregnant, along with the additional stresses of fertility treatments are stressful, studies show that its impact on reproduction is minimal if any at all. While infertility causes stress, stress doesn’t cause infertility.

Related: No Link Between Stress and Infertility, Doctor Says

Stress and infertility: Does Calming Down Really Work? Studies show that while infertility causes stress, stress doesn’t cause infertility.

Isn’t It Bad to Stress?

We can all agree that stress isn’t good for the mind or body. It can take a toll on how you feel, making you feel miserable each day. In addition, stress can trigger anxiety, panic attacks and cause depression, making it something worth avoiding. However, stress doesn’t necessarily make you infertile. While stress is bad for your health, and it’s worth doing what you can to reduce as much of it from your life as possible, it’s not something that could keep you from getting pregnant.

What Causes Infertility?

Infertility in women can occur for several reasons. For some women, it’s harder to get pregnant due to genetics. Some women have troubles with their cervix or difficulty tracking ovulation because of underlying health conditions, making it much harder to get pregnant. In my case, there wasn’t a medical reason, which can be even greater stress. Women who experience infertility tend to do so because of other health reasons, not stress. For some women, the only way to have a baby of their own is through IVF treatment or surrogacy. On the other hand, others can get pregnant after receiving help with their fertility struggles. It all depends on the general cause of those fertility issues.

Aging women often have a more challenging time conceiving a baby compared to younger women. This is because as a woman gets older, she typically produces fewer eggs. As a result, it becomes harder to get an egg to fertilize with the sperm to create that baby. However, it doesn’t mean that aging women can’t conceive because they can. It does mean that it may require a bit more effort, such as tracking ovulation.

Will Stress Impact Fertility at All?

No. According to research, stress won’t impact fertility. If a woman struggles with infertility, it’s not due to stress, but it can leave her feeling stressed. It’s the reason some people think stress causes infertility. So, naturally, any woman who wants to have a baby will start to feel stressed over the idea of getting pregnant when it’s not happening as quickly as she’d hoped and anticipated. 

Related: Trying to Conceive: When to Seek Help From a Fertility Specialist

When a woman begins stressing and telling other people how she’s worried about not getting pregnant, people often feel the need to tell her to calm down. While these people usually mean well and think they’re providing words of encouragement, there’s nothing more frustrating than hearing someone tell you to calm down when you want a baby and are having a hard time conceiving one.

Stress and infertility: Does Calming Down Really Work? Studies show that while infertility causes stress, stress doesn’t cause infertility.

What to Do When Dealing with Infertility Issues

If you’ve tried to conceive for several months to no avail and are worried that something is wrong, see a specialist. The fertility specialist can get to the bottom of the situation, finding out if you have any underlying conditions that could negatively impact your health. For example, diabetes in women can have an impact on fertility. Talking about any health concerns you have while going over your family medical history can help. The fertility specialist can run a series of tests to determine the underlying cause of your fertility issues.

Get Help from a Professional 

Getting help from a professional often relieves some of the stress that women tend to experience when trying to conceive. You’ll feel much better when you’re talking to a medical professional with experience and lots of knowledge on the subject. Most importantly, you’ll get the most valuable advice on what you should do to make conception happen that doesn’t involve being told to calm down and stop stressing.

You’re Not Alone!

Thousands of women, me included, experience infertility each year. The thought of not being able to start a family will hurt. Trust me it hurts. Yes, it will leave you feeling stressed along with a myriad of other emotions.  However, don’t let anyone tell you that the stress is causing your fertility problems because it’s not. While women who try to conceive without success often feel stressed that nothing is happening, it’s not the stress keeping them from getting pregnant.

Any woman who’d like to find out what steps to take next should schedule an appointment at a fertility clinic to meet with a specialist. It’s there so that you can receive some of the answers you’re looking for on your journey to motherhood. Also, it is important to surround yourself with a support system, whether it is a close friend or family member, or even a support group. This is a hard journey, and mental and emotional support is needed every step of the way.

Does Just Calming Down Really Work?

Resources for Balck Women and Couples Experiencing Infertility